Me with Piedmont art teachers, Tracy Price and Tiffany Medford!
I had the wonderful opportunity last week to visit Piedmont High School (my HS alma mater) to give a series of art talks to all the art students. Tracy Price contacted me initially, and I was thrilled to accept her invitation to speak! Mrs. Price is now the head of Piedmont’s Art Department. When I visited the school I was WOWed by how much the art department has grown since I was there (1988-’92). When I was there, there was only one art classroom, and it was HALF the size of the classrooms they have now. The art department now has two classrooms that are enormous! I was super-impressed!
photo of me found in Tracy Price’s Piedmont scrapbook!
It sure did feel like a full-circle experience for me. When I was in high school, I was extremely shy, but tried to shed my fears by taking drama classes. Toastmasters has since cured me of my fears of public speaking, so it was wonderful to say an enthusiastic YES to this opportunity to share my creative professional journey with the art students!
I put a Powerpoint presentation together of my work and for the first time ever, I used the technology available to use that Powerpoint as a visual aid for my talk. That was a growing experience for me. I learned how to use the “smart board” they had there. Thank goodness I arrived way early, so I was able to get myself familiar with the room and the technology!
For my talk, I decided to go through my development as a creative professional, beginning with my experiences as a professional caricature artist. I spoke about beginning this as my summer job during college at Carowinds, moving on from that to setting up my caricature stand at festivals, and finally taking it to the next level by doing 2-8 hour gigs, getting paid hourly to set my easel up for various events. I showed several fun photos of the locations I’ve had the advantage to travel to, and told my favorite story about doing a caricature as part of a man’s marriage proposal (I will have to blog separately about that! A great story!).
Me drawing Tracy Price, head of Piedmont High’s Art Department!
After telling my caricature journey, I went into my experiences working as a Product Designer for American Greetings and then as an artist for Blue Frog Gaming, and finally my life as it is now, working as a full time freelancer!
WHEW! There was a lot to talk about! And afterward, I did a caricature demo of each of the art teachers! Glad I brought my easel!
Me with two Piedmont students – wearing our “Weird buttons” along with my WMW book!
I brought my “Wearing My Weird” giveaway buttons as favors to give to the kids at Piedmont. It just felt like a good idea to me. I was thrilled when a group of girls started taking photos of themselves wearing the buttons and then asked to take a photo with me holding my book with us all wearing our WMW buttons! That was a wonderful moment for me!
I had to blog about this special opportunity I had. Thank goodness I was able to come down to NC during my kids’ spring break vacation. Now the Piedmont district is on their spring break, and I wish them well! What a joy it was to visit them and to hug my high school art teacher again!
A big thanks to my teacher Mrs. Price for the creative enrichment she has given to so many Piedmont students, including myself. I am deeply grateful!
Art Club photo from Mrs. Price’s scrapbook! (left to right: Christy Cornett, Rebecca Starnes, Trenda Furr and me)
Presentation setup in one of the art classrooms, with photo of my kids as part of my Powerpoint presentation.